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The government plans to make it possible for smartphones to be equipped with the functions of the My Number social security and taxation identification card, internal affairs minister Ryota Takeda said Friday.

Under the proposal, announced at a news conference, facial and fingerprint recognition will be used instead of passcodes to verify users’ identities.

The government hopes that the plan, expected to be introduced in fiscal 2022, will lead to wider use of the card.

“We will consider equipping smartphones with the public identity verification function of the My Number card as part of efforts to create a digital society,” Takeda said.

An expert panel will be established in the internal affairs ministry to discuss security measures and other policy steps regarding putting the card’s functions on mobile devices.

The panel will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, and is slated to compile an interim report by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Takeda took a cautious stance regarding a request by Japan Broadcasting Corp., or NHK, to require people without contracts with the public broadcaster to submit reports of whether they own television sets.

“Requiring those without (TV sets) to submit reports is out of the question,” he said.

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